Words, Words, Words

Words From People’s Names – Spoonerism

May 4, 2021 | 4 Comments

Many of our words come from people’s names, usually because they invented the item. You have probably heard that the “sandwich” was invented by the Earl of Sandwich who did not want to leave the gambling table to eat so he asked for some meat between two slices of bread. Braille, the method of printing…

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More About Numbers – Zero

April 6, 2021 | 5 Comments

I love Reader’s Digest. It has so many interesting articles – positive and heartwarming, but also updated health information and other current topics. My favorite sections, as you might expect, are the funny comments and the puzzle sections. One of my favorite puzzles is a section called “Word Power.” In the February, 2021, issue, we…

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National Grammar Day

March 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

Oops – I missed this year’s National Grammar Day (March 4th). But it’s never too late for a grammar funny: “Did you hear the one about the past, present, and future walking into a bar together? It was tense . . . šŸ¤£”

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Made-Up Words

March 2, 2021 | 4 Comments

Our language uses several made-up words, or “coined” words as they are sometimes called (why “coined,” I do not know). And more are being created every day, it seems. A recent one – “hangry” – combined two words into one, to describe when someone is angry because they are hungry. An excellent word, I thought….

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Confusing Words – Capitol or Capital

February 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

Unfortunately, the events of January 6, 2021, prompted me to move this Confusing Words post to the top of the list. My first thought was sadness; my second thought was how encouraging that every headline I saw used the correct word – capitol – when discussing what happened at the building, itself! I know, I’m…

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A Post To Toast

January 5, 2021 | 4 Comments
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I started a Homonyms spreadsheet last year to help my Adult Literacy League students learn how the spelling of a word can impact its meaning while not impacting its sound. A shout-out to Claudia who is helping me organize the spreadsheet. She is also converting the data into a Word document so she can add…

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Expressions #1 – Give and Take

December 1, 2020 | 2 Comments

In the season of giving, I started thinking about those words and discovered that take, in particular, is used in what might seem strange ways. Whenever we use expressions, our listeners’ or readers’ frame of reference is incredibly important. If they don’t understand the expression, we could have a lost message or, perhaps worse, a…

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Confusing Words – Social or Sociable?

November 3, 2020 | 9 Comments

In these days of social distancing, I realized I would like to know more about the difference between social and sociable. According to grammarist.com, “social people like going out and being with people, whereas sociable people are easy for others to get along with.” [Yes, the definition did end with a prepositionšŸ¤Ø]. Social is also…

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Homonyms Confusion Online – Computer Doesn’t Help

October 6, 2020 | 3 Comments

Hello, all! Thank you to everyone who responded with homonym misspellings in September! I found a few more from webinar announcements, and I was emailed several other online misspellings that clearly fall into my “SpellCheck Won’t Help You” chapter of an upcoming book about Persuasive Communications. What about these examples? They REALLY made me want…

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Homonyms in These Strange Times

September 1, 2020 | 3 Comments
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Communicating online instead of in person means spelling is extra important – especially when words sound the same but are spelled differently. Here are a couple of examples I have seen recently. While I take the rest of September off from posting, I’d love it if you all would look for other misspelled homonyms and…

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